A few months ago I received terrible, earth shattering news. News so impactful, it stopped me in my tracks. I was being summoned to jury duty. I understand the shocked pause you just had as you read this post. I am busy, work in sales, and get bored easily. I simply cannot serve on a jury. Or so I thought. My recent experience as a juror, more specifically, the foreperson, opened my mind to this amazing experience. It was an education and an honor to serve. Yes, cliche’, I get it. Read on…You are hard working at the business of becoming and maintaining your awesome. Also at making a living. One of the common themes among successful people is the ability to understand the big picture. This can be understanding their overall corporate impact, or a societal impact, such as how my Jury duty fits in the American justice system. Realizing that you play a subordinate role in the larger picture, invokes either a jaded response of not caring, or a sacrificial response of giving with open arms to the experience. Appropriate engagement in things such as Jury duty are key to maintaining a free society and are key to your personal development. Experiences you may not volunteer for offer you the opportunity to step away from the comfort zone and grow. Simply showing up is not awesome and limits the experience . I chose to give it my full effort. While I learned a lot more than what I’m sharing here, I chose the three most pertinent to our discussion:.
1. Dress for the part: This may seem basic, but is so often forgotten. Understanding your environment and what is the norm is so valuable. Dressing too high or too low can kill and interaction before it even starts. With the internet, twitter, and a little (I mean little) effort, you can figure out what is acceptable. No ties in Hawaii, and no shorts in court. You’ve hear it a thousand times, “control the controllable”…this is something you have absolute control of.
2. Confidence and Decisiveness in Persuasion: Being confident and decisive brings so much weight to a negotiation. Being awesome involves an intentional approach to lining up the facts and understanding the parameters of a decision. Confidence and decisiveness is not a closed mind to dissenting opinions. It’s actually the opposite. With all the facts lined up, you can stack dissenting facts right up against your facts. In a persuasive environment such as a jury room or the board room, having the knowledge of where you can give a little and take a little is key to gaining the edge in persuasion. This, in turn, moves things forward toward awesomeness.
3. Debrief to maximize learning. Being intentional with your time opens up opportunities to pause between situations. Taking a few minutes to a few hours depending on the specifics, to chronicle the preceding events and gain valuable learnings is so important to becoming awesome. The awesome person is a PHILOSOPHER (lover of knowledge) in the truest form. Whether your role was as a leader or passive player, be a “curious sponge”. Engage in the experience of learning. You must be intentional by taking some time to ask questions of yourself and others if appropriate.
Share some experiences that surprised you with positive impact.
Rocco De Leo